The Husqvarna brand of motorcycles was (under BMW’s ownership) offering some very competent, road going motorcycles. Now under the KTM banner, the Swedish bikes are making a return to the streets for 2016 in North America with the debut of the 701 Supermoto. It is based on the KTM 690 platform but with some changes to the electronics, chassis, suspension, and a blue/yellow/white sticker package befitting the marques heritage. Availability will begin in February 2016, just prior to the riding season here in North America – at least it is for those blessed with temperature fluctuations into the negatives.
The 701 Supermoto weighs in at just over 300-pounds with fuel and makes about 70 hp, putting it on par with some very fast machines, in terms of power to weight ratio that is.. There’s no doubt the 701 will be an absolute laugh to ride given the abilities of the KTM 690 it’s based on, and it should also make a great track day bike. However, the announcement of the 701 Supermoto’s arrival here in North America brings about one big question and that is: When do we see the enduro version? For it is the enduro model that will certainly garner the attention of a growing adventure touring market, looking for a truly off-road capable mount.
In the mean time, the Supermoto, as it is, should appeal to a hardcore group looking for performance and thrills, but if the aftermarket for its KTM cousins is any indicator, there may well be a long list of items available to make this into just about any kind of motorcycle you want. Many have argued that the KTM 690 Enduro or Supermoto could be the best starting point for a bike that can “do it all”. If in fact the platform is as versatile as expected, the Husky 701 will be a fantastic return to the road for Husqvarna in 2016.